In the Emancipation Manifesto of 1860, tsar Alexander II liberated Russian serfs by ending the practice of serfdom. However, this led to peasants having to buy their lands from landlords which increased debt. It also gave these peasants more freedom to organize.
In the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1905, protesters marched on the Winter palace and carried a petition signed by over 100k people. They asked for representative government, freedom of speech, workers rights, and peace with Japan. However, palace guards opened fire on them and 1k died. This shattered the myth that the tsar didn't know about the suffering of the Russian people.
In 1917, the Russian Revolution emerged in which angry workers responded with a series of crippling strikes throughout the country. The peasants and working class people of Russia revolted against the government of Tsar Nicholas II. They were led by Vladimir Lenin and a group of revolutionaries called the Bolsheviks. The Russian Revolution paved the way for the rise of communism as an influential political belief system around the world.
The Bolsheviks, a small socialist party led by Vladimir (Lenin) seized power in an overnight coup in St. Petersburg. This marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and centuries of Russian Imperial rule. This also set into motion many political/social changes.
Lenin's Red Army
A civil war emerged in Russia from 1918-1921. Bolsheviks regimented the economy, seized grain from angry peasants, suppressed nationalist rebellions, and perpetrated bloody atrocities. The civil war exaggerated the Bolsheviks’ authoritarian tendencies and their inclination to use force
The White Army(counterrevolutionaries)
Russia emerged from a civil war in 1921 as the newly formed Soviet Union. A 1922 treaty between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The newly established Communist Party, led by Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, took control of the government.